Forgery figure

Not on view

A forgery is a copy of an artwork or an original work made in the style of art from a different time or place than its actual origin. Forgeries are often fabricated with the intent to deceive, usually for monetary gain. While these objects are not authentic to the ancient Near East, they inform scholarship about the market and popular taste during the period of their manufacture. They can also provide clues as to how ancient objects were made, and demonstrate elements of expert craftsmanship in some cases.

This statue belongs to a group of copper objects known as Lebanese Mountain Figures that are found in many museum collections. Some of these statues have long been the subject of scrutiny for archaeologists and art historians with concerns being raised as early as 1908. This figure was declared of “doubtful authenticity” by a Metropolitan Museum of Art committee in 1933. More recently, a scientific investigation was undertaken to determine which of the figures could be firmly dated to antiquity. This study confirmed that the so-called 1908 group, while derived from Lebanon as might be expected if the figures were ancient, was actually produced at a modern workshop in Sidon (see Schorsch 2014).

Forgery figure, Unalloyed copper

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